The holidays are coming and it’s a time to celebrate gatherings amongst families and friends. One way to do this is to go out of town or have staycations in hotels. But wouldn’t it be enjoyable if you could save more on your vacations? Well, now you can---all thanks to Travelbook.ph!
For a limited time only, get back as much as half of what you paid for.
For some typical reward programs, they offer you only at least one to five percent rebate. But with TravelBook.ph’s special promo this holiday season, you get more than just one, five, or ten percent rebate---because they offer an astounding 50% rebate!
You heard that right! This means you get back half of what you spend! This is TravelBook.ph’s biggest and most ambitious giveaway to date, and you can only avail it from November 21 to 27, 2016.
Just imagine how much you’re getting with this promo: If you book a hotel worth 2,000, you automatically get PHP 1,000 back in reward points. With this, you can already book a room worth PHP 1,000 for free or use it to further lower the prices of your future bookings. Take advantage of this week long promo, especially for the holiday season when staycations and out of town trips are trendy!
This is just the start of their six-week long holiday promo as a way to say thank you to their loyal customers. Not only do you enjoy your vacations, but you also get a lot of savings. Check www.travelbook.ph and www.facebook.com/TravelBook.ph every week to be updated with the latest special deals that we will be giving away!
Book your hotels now at Travelbook.ph and earn big reward points!
If you still don’t have idea where to go or what hotel to get, you can check my personal choices below:
Of course, you can by having a staycation in Manila Hotels:
If you want to see the northern part of the Philippines, you can check-in on any of these hotels:
Have a wonderful and relaxing vacation when you stay at any of these hotels in the southern part of the country:
Blogapalooza Horizons 2.0 was held in Novotel Manila Araneta Center, Cubao at the 6th floor garden near the swimming pool. When I heard from social media that the booths were outside, while the talks are inside the tent, I thought it best to arrive after lunch.
Well, it was a good thing that we did. When we arrived at past two in the afternoon, the sun was not that hot anymore (though we were still sweating), so it was a good time check what the sponsors had to offer.
The great thing about Blogapalooza Horizons 2.0 is I looked around the booths with blogger friends without worrying about the space, time, or anything else.
Last Blogapalooza 2015, I met Cheryl, Diane, and Peng for the first time, so we’re just getting to know each other. Apart from that, the venue was so cramped and there was no internet signal, so we were kind of stressed. On the first Blogapalooza 2016 last May, I arrived late because I was in the night shift. The others left early, so I was not able to chat with longer. We also didn’t even have a photo together! :(
For this November’s Blogapalooza, everything was just right. We saw Peng, Diane, and Stephen in the registration area and introduced them to Marge, one of my officemates who is a newbie blogger. While it was a bit hot, we still had fun looking around and joining the games of the sponsors. It was more enjoyable to do the activities and other events of the booths because did it with my fellow bloggers.
|Photo by Peng|
Some of the brands that we visited included:
San Mig Food Ave
Shapecloud 3D Printing
PMCM Events Management
Amada’s Leche Flan & Desserts
Alfox Printing Services
Habitat for Humanity Philippines
I won a full-sized perfume from Chemworld, a fan from GoMoto, a free trial and organic products from MyOffice, lifetime discount card from Eurotel and Icon Hotel, keychain from Alfox Printing Services, and two tickets to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them from PMCM Events Management. Also got some wonderful freebies.
The 4th Players Improv Performance
After completing most of the booths, we entered the tent to listen to the talks. We were lucky to find empty seats, so we can rest our tired bodies. Actually, we came just when The 4th Players Improv, a comedy improvisation group, did a performance.
Needless to say, everyone in the tent was laughing out loud because the group was doing funny improvised performances based on the suggestions of the audience.
A photo posted by Blogapalooza Inc. (@blogapaloozaph) on
Blogapalooza did a great job getting this group because it can be tiring to go around the booths outside or to listen to the talks. After their performance, we had more energy to listen to the panel discussion and watch the big reveal.
One of the things that surprised me was bloggers from different provinces came to Manila to attend Blogapalooza Horizons 2.0. I was also wondering why the hashtag is #UnitePH. When the panel discussion came, I realized why.
Blogapalooza invited heads of blogger groups from different provinces, particularly Davao, Cebu, Pangasinan, and Cagayan de Oro. They talked about the situation of the blogging community in the provinces and their differences with Manila bloggers. I really liked this part because Blogapalooza showed everyone that bloggers from Manila and from different provinces could unite.
I was fascinated by the stories that they told us. Some of the bloggers in these groups even existed since 2007 and, now, they’re well-known in their own fields. I am happy that these bloggers made an effort to come to Manila and talk about their experiences to us. They even offered their assistance and hospitality if some us plan to go to their respective provinces. It was great discussion because they gave a lot of useful advice. One of the things I remembered from them that I will always keep in mind is:
“We don’t ask. We also don’t refuse.” – Vanj Padilla
The Big Reveal
After everything is done, Blogapalooza finally revealed their BIG REVEAL! We went to their courtyard, where a big BUZZIN design stood on the stage. And that is actually the big reveal: BUZZIN.
#Buzzin is the Philippines' premier and most trusted influencer marketing partner. It connects both businesses and influencers on a daily basis. It is a search trawler that figures out what you write about, what niche interests you the most, and what your stance is. Then it matchmakes you, bloggers and influencers, with your perfect business partner(s).
This is good news for both bloggers and business because we can all promote each other without waiting for blogger events. For businesses, they can connect with different bloggers in just a few clicks. All of these can be done on a daily basis. I already signed up and I am very excited to see the future of Buzzin. :D
After the big reveal, we had the opportunity to meet Lloyd and Me-An, the couple bloggers of Yogo and Cream! Thanks to Peng for introducing them to us. I am such a big fan of these two bloggers and even show their blog to the attendees of my Blogging 101 module at work. :D
Me-An is so quirky and fun to talk to! We also got some advice on how to grow our blogs and make them successful. After all, Yogo and Cream won as the best blog in the Food and Drinks Category at the BlogEx 2016 Awards. I am happy to have met Lloyd and Me-An and hope to see them more in future events.
I really enjoyed going to the recent Blogapalooza event because I spent it with great blogger friends. By this time, most of us know each other and we have the same interest, which is blogging. We all had a great time doing the games and activities, as well as listening to the talks. We also exchanged stories on anything---from blogging to our hobbies. Now, we plan to meet with each other more often. :D
Blogapalooza Horizons 2.0 has indeed improved ever since I started attending it in 2015. There were fewer sponsors, but there were also new brands that we loved. I believe this is better, so that both bloggers and businesses can focus on getting to know each other well. After the event, I already have prospect brands that I would love to work with.
Maybe the one thing that I was a bit iffy is the venue. While the outdoor area looks great, I learned there were bloggers who had a hard time going around because of the scorching heat of the sun. I know Blogapalooza wanted to do something different, but going around under the heat is very difficult. We were just lucky not to experience it much because we came in after lunch, so it became a bit windy and less hot.
Overall, the whole event was awesome and I appreciated everything that the organizers did for us bloggers. It was an event where bloggers from NCR, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao were able to interact and unite. All in all, I am happy to know that everything Blogapalooza does is for the betterment of both bloggers and businesses.
Thank you again, Blogapalooza, for a wonderful event. More power to you! I look forward to next year! :D
Movie Review | “Doctor Strange” is Not Your Usual Marvel Superhero Movie and It’s a Good Thing (Spoilers Ahead)1:03 AM
Disclaimer: Spoilers Ahead. Leave now if you haven’t watched “Doctor Strange” yet.
Before watching “Doctor Strange”, I had little information about it. But I was very curious because I felt he was an unusual superhero. So, Marc and I spontaneously watched it on the first day.
Just a note: Since I was exposed to the usual Marvel movies full of physical action and almost having the same formula (Iron Man, Thor, Avengers, Captain America, Civil War), I expected “Doctor Strange” to be like that. However, the moment the first scene came out, I knew it’s gong to be an interesting Marvel movie. So I sat back, relaxed, listened, and watched.
Another warning: Everything after this post will contain spoilers. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, it’s best to stop reading and just look at my other blog posts haha XD
“Doctor Strange” is not your usual Marvel movie and that’s good. It was something new, giving everyone a different perspective on what being a superhero is about.
One of the things that I loved about “Doctor Strange” is the visualization. Seeing the magical and colorful visuals made the movie more awesome than the usual brawns of other Marvel movies. For lack of better term, it is livelier with sorcerers using magic together with physical combat.
While the visuals and special effects are all over the movie, they don’t feel forced are not that hard to follow. Well, there were times when we got dizzy of the kaleidoscope visuals done by the magic (which actually reminded me of Inception). But after a few minutes, we got used to it and was actually great to watch. I guess these visuals are one of the reasons why I love “Doctor Strange”. You don’t get to see those in past Marvel movies.
The characters were also different from the usual Marvel roster. However, in my opinion, I think Dr. Stephen Strange is the most complex superhero---more complicated than Hulk or Iron Man. This is because he faced many non-stop mental, physical, and emotional hardships.
Dr. Stephen Strange was a great and well-known surgeon who is also arrogant. I guess fate interfered and taught him a lesson. Strange got into a car accident and, while he was alive, his hands were damaged so bad that he can’t perform surgery anymore. After looking and trying on different medical procedures to fix his hands, Strange swallowed his pride and asked for help on how to heal them.
He ended up in Katmandu, where he had his mind opened by the Ancient One about the multi-universe and other dimensions. Strange trained not only to find a way to heal his hands, but also to open his mind on things he never thought existed. Yes, Strange is stubborn and arrogant (which, I think, never disappeared), but he was willing to learn about other things that are beyond what he can see, feel, touch, taste, or hear.
Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Strange so well. He specifically showed viewers the struggles of Strange on whether he should accept his destiny or just go back to being a doctor with his “healed” hands. It’s not easy to act out a very complex character, but Cumberbatch did it so well that I can’t help but be at awe to his acting the whole time I was watching. I’m glad Marvel decided to get Cumberbatch to envision Strange.
Throughout the movie, Strange had difficulty choosing of either thinking about himself or thinking about others. In the end, he saw the importance of saving others first before himself through his new powers and abilities. While he may still be a bit arrogant, Strange has truly opened his mind and accepted a new path of selflessness. He became a man of science to a man of faith who traverses on both worlds. Despite his big ego, I learned to love Doctor Stephen Strange.
Apart from Doctor Strange, I loved Wong because of his (lack of) sense of humor. Then there are Karl Mordo and the Ancient One, some of the serious characters of the movie. While I still don’t agree with the whitewashing of the Ancient One, I have to admit that Tilda Swinton did a good job.
All in all, with the diverse characters, I never got tired of watching and getting to know them. Each character has their own unique personality that made me curious on why they are like this and why they are like that. It’s very interesting to watch the characters that you will never get bored.
While “Doctor Strange” is an origin movie, it’s not the usual one that focuses on the lead character’s beginnings, training, and then fighting the enemy for a long time. In fact, I like the fast-paced flow of how Strange injured his hands all the way to training his new abilities. If I read it correctly, his training took one year, but the movie narrated it in just a few minutes. But I didn’t get lost because when I saw Strange mastering his new powers, I realized that training took months.
The flow is also perfect, organized, and detailed. I really listened to the whole movie because there were some talkies about magic, science, dark dimension, and multiverse. Since I am not familiar with those topics and with “Doctor Strange”, I had to watch and listen carefully to understand everything. And it paid off because when Marc asked me at the end of the movie if I had any questions, I answered “none so far” (though I had 1-2 questions, but they were just minor).
Despite the story being more on magic and a little bit of physical combat, “Doctor Strange” had a smooth flow in terms of story and plot.
Overall, “Doctor Strange” is indeed a breath of fresh air from the usual Marvel movies. It's different, but in a good way. Since I am used to the physical and science aspects from past MCU movies, seeing “Doctor Strange” is very refreshing---something that is pleasant to both the eyes and ears. And also, I learned about other aspects of the Marvel Universe that I have never knew before.
I am putting Dr. Stephen Strange as one of my favorite Marvel characters because of his abilities and his willingness to open his mind on things unheard of. While watching, I was hoping that Strange will embrace his destiny and show everyone that he can be a great superhero in his own right. And I’m glad he did.
Oh and can I just say: I love Strange’s red cape. I want one. Period. :D
I really recommend watching “Doctor Strange” while it is still showing in theaters. And watch it in the cinema! Don’t wait for the download, DVD, or Blu-ray. Watch it in the cinema because it is here you will truly appreciate everything about the movie.